What is your background?
I graduated from SDSU in 2001 with my B.S. in Computer Science, and recently obtained a Master of Engineering degree from Arizona State in Embedded Systems. I have worked as a programmer on various projects ranging from real-time systems, such as missile guidance and stock market analysis, to database integration software for academic applications. In the future I hope to be involved in more hardware driven real-time systems.
Where did you learn most of your skills?
I have had the benefit of learning both from the school of hard knocks, as well as actual school. I also have known my friend Robert Enright for over 15 years who is an Electrical Engineer and has helped me out on lots of stuff. Of course, having makers around either online or locally has been a major boon to my learning curve – mostly it comes down to wanting to see something done badly enough to not rest until you get the answer you need from somewhere.
What is the hardest part of what you do?
Being patient and waiting for the result, especially when there are setbacks – it can be frustrating to see no progress being made on a project that you really want to finish.
What is your favorite project?
I’m currently working on a framework for a control system for AUVs that runs on Linux. I completed most of this work in the Fall for my final Masters project and am now continuing it until summer when the robot competition happens. Being able to code and port a message bus has been a long time desire of mine that I finally (mostly) achieved and am happy with. I will be able to use it on a myriad of projects to make development easier for integrating third-party products/machines in to higher-level softwares that require lots of logic.
What inspired you to make this?
A night of Doritos-fueled mania that I no longer remember.
What was the hardest part of making this?
Creating a hydrophone chip out of an older/slower FPGA has been and still is the bane of my existence. The lesson is to never try to code something you don’t have the right tools to test.
Have any interesting stories?
Fun fact – Stephen Hawking called me up one day when I was frustrated with my robot and gave me some inspiring advice. He then talked about black holes (the drink, not the space phenomenon) and we laughed the night away. Of course, none of that story is even remotely true, however, you didn’t require it to be a true story, only an interesting one, so there you go. (Just kidding you don’t have to use any of this whatsoever, I’m obviously having a bit too much narcissistic fun with this).
I used it.